Boston High School: Tori Hancock

Brockton cruises past short-handed Needham

November, 10, 2010
NEEDHAM, Mass. -- In a game that was a bit dampened by the weather and the incidents surrounding the Lady Rockets of Needham High School, the Brockton Boxers cruised to a comfortable 7-1 win.

The Lady Boxers got off the mark in the 12th minute when senior midfielder Tess Stapleton bent a corner kick directly into the net for the early 1-0 edge.

Needham looked likely to respond with three corner kicks over the next two minutes, but were unable to convert on any.

In the 15th minute Brockton sophomore Amy Yang struck a beautiful free kick from 23 yards away, from the angle where the 18 yard box ‘s vertical and parallel lines meet, and she was unlucky in hitting the bottom of the nearside post. The Rockets were unable to clear their lines though and the Boxers capitalized through Morgan Branco who hit home a bouncing cross sent in from Yang, 2-0 Boxers. Yang assisted again in the 26th as the Boxers broke out from a long throw taken around midfield, and she fed the ball across nicely to Tori Hancock who finished coolly for a 3-0 lead that Brockton took into halftime.

In the second half the Rockets team, made up of underclassmen, fought hard and held their own for periods of play, but Brockton’s class was too much. Branco struck again in the 53rd, and completed her hat trick in the 56th. In the 58th sophomore Felicia Mulholland made it 5-0, and she scored again in the 59th both time she was in alone on the keeper and took her strikes well.

At a time when most teams would give up, the Rockets continued to press on for a goal. And they got what they were looking for nine minutes from full time on a corner kick that was headed in. 7-1 was the final and the Boxers will play the No. 2 seeded Bishop Feehan Shamrocks, who were 4-1 winners over Marshfield, in the Quarterfinals.

The other D-1 South Quarterfinals shape up like this, Weymouth will play Oliver Ames after the Wildcats defeated Natick on penalty kicks. Franklin will host Wellesley after the Raiders upset Dartmouth 1-0. And the shocker of the first round is top seeded Whitman-Hanson losing 1-0 to Silver Lake, who will take on Plymouth South.

Brockton prevails in Big Three test

September, 29, 2010
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- The wind gusted out of the southwest. And, anywhere the wind blew, the ball followed so.

Ultimately Tuesday's breezes blew Brockton's way as the No. 8 Boxers beat No. 5 New Bedford 4-2.

“It was kind of a weird one,” New Bedford girls’ soccer coach Joe Gill said. “I don’t think either team was really able to play their game as they’d like to. I thought once we got to the second half we’d be all set.”

With the wind at its back, Brockton jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Whalers in the first half.

When New Bedford returned to the pitch and attacked the east goal at Paul Walsh Field in the second half, the difference was clear. Shelby Friedland struck in the second minute of the second half on a goal assisted by Samantha Bucknell and it looked as though the Whalers were back in it.

And while the gales continued to whistle at New Bedford’s back, the Whalers wouldn’t gain any added momentum as the Boxers posted their second win in Big Three play.

“We’re really more of a possession-oriented team and the wind conditions made it difficult to do that throughout,” Boxers coach Andrea Tassinari said. “But I was happy with the way our girls battled through it.”

The Boxers (6-0-0) ran out to their early lead on unassisted goals by junior Morgan Branco in the fourth and 30th minutes. Branco, who now has nine markers on the season, helped Brockton set up shop in front of Whalers goalkeeper Alexandra Medeiros. The Boxers held possession for long stretches of the first half and outshot New Bedford 8-1.

The Whalers didn’t place their first shot on goal until the 25th minute.

At the start of the second half, New Bedford (8-1-0, 0-1-0) picked up on the attack.

“Once we got that first goal to start the half, I thought, ‘Here we go,’” Gill said. “But we were never really able to sustain pressure after that.”

Brockton accomplished its top priority in bottling up Whalers senior forward Alyssa Roach, who was held to one scoring chance. It was a quality chance, however, and Roach nearly tied the game when she blasted a shot from the top of the box off the cross bar in the minute following Friedland’s goal.

About a minute after Roach’s opportunity, Tori Hancock knocked in the third Boxer goal on a second-chance play off of a shot directed toward goal by midfielder Kaylee Khang.

Amy Yang tallied the fourth Brockton marker in the 57th minute, after Bucknell had cut the Boxer lead to one off a corner kick in the 51st minute.

Freshman goalkeeper Lauren Sever made six saves to earn the win.

“We know we needed to shut [Roach] down,” Tassinari said, “and I thought Amy [Yang] and Kaylee [Khang] did a great job in the midfield limiting her opportunities.”